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Your Price is Your Price – Sticker Shock Isn’t Your Problem

priceYou know your price for writing, right? You charge $X by the hour or the word or the page etc. You know your price gives you enough to for all of your expenses as well as at least some of your wants.

If you don’t know this it’s time to go back and re-figure how you’ll charge for your services.

Now, how do you feel when quoting your price? Confident? Scared? Excited? Broke? Desperate? Eager? In other words, do you worry about your client’s sticker shock?

Do you fear client’s sticker shock?

Many writers do, and it’s a shame. You know the feeling, it’s when you’re afraid your price is to high for the person you’re quoting it too. It’s a funny thing, because in the U.S. at least there’s very little bargaining for goods and not a whole lot for many services. If you buy a salad at a restaurant, the price is the price and you choose to pay it or you choose something else even if it’s another restaurant. When you hire a lawyer or a plumber you either pay their price or you don’t.

If you’ve done your research on setting your fees and if they are reasonable you have nothing to fear.

And please, don’t talk to me about market rate unless you’re looking at a wide range such as suggested in the Writers Market. The perfect price for you is not going to be the same as the perfect price for me.

Why is it so difficult for writers to understand that their price is their price? Why are we tempted to reduce our prices in hopes of getting hired?

Believe me, that attitude communicates to the client, usually unconsciously, and makes it way less likely they’ll agree to the fee you quote.

It seems to me this insecurity about pricing comes in two forms: poor self-worth and/or lack of confidence in our writing skills.

Both can be solved

Both can be solved. If you’ve got problems with self worth, you’ll find articles here and all over Google and YouTube about how to value yourself more. Or you can get some therapy or hire a life coach – there are many solutions.

If you’re not sure of your writing skills get honest with yourself about them, one way or the other. Start by looking at what you’ve sold and/or published or that teachers and other professionals have said about your writing. (If you don’t have this information already, seek it out.) Chances are you’re a better writer than you think you are – if so, own that. Or if your skills are lacking, fix ’em – learn what you need to learn and implement it.

When you’ve got the confidence and the skills and you’ve done your homework regarding setting fees, you have no need to reduce your price. Sticker shock isn’t your problem, it’s your client’s. They will either hire you or they won’t. If you’ve got the skills etc., look to your marketing before lowering your price.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Good advice and works most of the time in my experience.

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